This is the fourth in a series of six articles being published during 2007 which may also be viewed online

at www.joyousness.org/articles.html

WISDOM
Wisdom is, in a sense, synonymous with light because it means the opposite of ignorance, which we generally associate with darkness or the absence of light. How many of us are truly wise? Yet so many portray themselves to be so, telling us that they have the answer. Today the internet is full of so much rubbish by these “purveyors of wisdom” or by people who say they are in touch with those who are extremely wise. It seems to be a necessary qualification for such wise ones to be from another planet or galaxy or to be an “ascended” this or that. Perhaps some of these contacts are genuine but any such contact is limited by the apparatus, perceptions and beliefs of those who interpret. Much of what is purported to be channelled is, regretfully (or perhaps thankfully), the product of over-stimulated imaginations or perhaps part inspiration coloured by the conditioning of the “channeller”. So where does that leave wisdom? How can we access it? Can we actually know it and can someone else give it to us? If wisdom is the absence of ignorance, then it means it can arise in us when the darkness of ignorance is dispelled. But ignorance in this sense is not dispelled by intellectual understanding, although that can prepare the ground for us. Wisdom is the result of very hard work over a very long period of time. Wisdom means overcoming ignorance in all its guises and the initial ignorance arises as a result of identifying ourselves as separate entities. As soon as the sense of an “I” appears, the resultant ego ensures that clouds of unknowing descend upon us, layer by layer, until we end up in the densest delusion. And that is where we all are. The danger comes from regarding any state of our delusion as real. Each time a cloud lifts a little, our surroundings become a little lighter and then we may think, “Ah, now I know.” In fact we don’t know anything and it is only when we have a real glimpse of wisdom that we realise there is nothing to be known. Wisdom does not come as a result of learning – it comes as a result of unlearning. In other words, it is only as a result of dispelling all the clouds (which are our mental formations gathered over eons of time) that wisdom arises. Now, this means that wisdom is not something given to us by some extraordinary “light being” on the Planet Zog or anywhere else. When someone gives us teaching, or rather when we are receptive to

teaching, it means that a little cloud has gone or been dispelled, allowing a little light from within to shine forth. The teacher does not give us light; the teacher enables us to see the light that is within us, that is already there. It is so important to realise this and if as a result of reading these words you think, “Ah, yes,” that is all that has happened. A little cloud has shifted allowing a little light to shine from within. Wisdom is available to all of us because it is within all of us. Like the man who has diamonds buried under his land, all we have to do is dig and clear away the dross. It is no use looking at the baubles our neighbour has, no matter how bright and shiny they appear. They’re of no use to us whatsoever. So how do we acquire this wisdom? How do we clear away the dross? By following our spiritual path if we have one. By loving deeply with all our heart. By being true to ourselves and not being misled. By being unconcerned about others’ mistakes and rather trying to improve our own conduct, our own speech and especially our own thoughts. The mind governs everything we do and only by purifying our thinking processes, by living ethically and with a full, open heart can we ever hope to uncover the wisdom that lies within. Each time we remove a negative tendency within us, a little spark of wisdom shines. May you have a life full of such sparks because wisdom is full of life. Indeed, Wisdom is Life. Andrew Marshall – July 2007